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Best of John Grochowski
Giveaways at the G2E23 December 2003
There are few things I like more than good barbecue, so I was delighted to get a little bonus while I was testing A.C. Coin's new King of the Grill slot machine at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.
On the screen, the coals were firing up when a young lady holding a tray approached on my right.
"Would you like a bottle?" she asked, and I accepted a container of barbecue rub from the tray. "I'll try this out next time I grill," I thought. "Maybe I'll pick out a nice sunny day and wear the shades the Blues Brothers just gave me. And I'll time it with the pocket alarm clock-stopwatch-compass from Atronic Gaming."
Slot machine manufacturers are not only eager to have their games grab the attention of casino executives who are potential buyers. They want to keep their names, and the names of their games, right before the slot managers' eyes in the days after the expo.
So the slotmakers hand out all kinds of trinkets and useful little gadgets - all bearing their logos and logos of their games, of course.
Back in my room, when I emptied my bags full of game descriptions and specifications, industry analyses and other printed material, these promotional items came spilling out with them:
**Barbecue dry rub, A.C. Coin, promoting King of the Grill slots. My wife and I tried it on a pork roast. Mmmmmmmm.
**Black sunglasses, Bally Gaming, promoting the Saturday Night Live: Blues Brothers slot machine. I had already checked out the Bally booth and was on my way to an appointment with another manufacturer when a Blues Brother stepped out. "You look like you need some shades," he said, pressing them into my hand.
**Matchbook-shaped calculator, Leading Edge Design, promoting Multi Strike Poker. A clever idea, leaping from striking a match to Multi Strike Poker, and a pretty nifty little item.
**Notepad, Aristocrat, promoting the company's 50 years in the slot machine business. Along with the Aristocrat logo, the cover depicts slot machines from different eras.
**Travel mug, Atronic, promoting the company's 10 years in the slot business. It's a nice mug, silver, with the Atronic logo in black and an opening in the top that slides shut.
Atronic was a virtual treasure trove. While I was trying out games, a representative said, "Let me get you a packet," which featured game and systems information and company history. When she returned she said, "I put some promotional items in, too."
Those items included not only the travel mug, but the pocket clock-stop watch-compass, a pen with the Atronic 10-year logo and logos of slot games such as Dancing Spirits, Gold Seekers and Mystery Mask, and the best key ring I've ever received at one of these conventions. It has a 2-inch-long silver base and a 2-inch-long clear plastic top. Press a button, and the plastic top lights up, changing colors from red to blue to green.
**"Men In Black" lighted pendant, WMS Gaming, promoting the Men In Black slot machine. This one can be worn around the neck - the "necklace" is electrical wire in clear insulation, with magnets at each end. Touch the magnets together and the current lights a small blue bulb at the top of the 2-inch square Lucite pendant with the Men In Black logo. The appearance is that the transparent pendant is lit up an electric blue.
WMS, like Atronic, had a multitude of giveaways. There were foam-rubber bluebirds and tins of mints with a "Bluebird" logo, promoting the new ergonomically designed Bluebird slot cabinet. There were pens and penlights bearing the WMS logo. And there was a WMS screwdriver. "Don't put that in carry-on baggage," I was warned - not that I'd have done that, anyway, in these post-9-11 times.
My favorite giveaway? Bottles of water at virtually every slot manufacturer's booth. Many of them had soft drinks and not-so-soft drinks, too, but I like to stick with water in the desert air.
WMS, Atronic, Aristocrat and anyone else who helped keep me hydrated - this swig's for you.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of John Grochowski